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BC-FL--Florida News Digest 130 pm, FL

December 20, 2018

Good afternoon! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Florida. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Miami bureau at 305-594-5825 or miami@ap.org. Ian Mader is the news editor and can be reached at imader@ap.org. Mike Schneider is on the desk and can be reached at mschneider@ap.org. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

TOP STORIES:

SCHOOL SHOOTING-FLORIDA

FORT LAUDERDALE _ Bodies. Chaos. The smell of gunpowder and blood. A deputy wandering aimlessly, muttering to himself. Officers who arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the minutes after a gunman killed 14 students and three staff members Feb. 14 described the confusion, fear, horror and some say cowardice they confronted in 600 pages of interviews with state investigators that were released late Wednesday through public records requests. Two talked of the extreme dread they felt as they had sons inside the school. By Terry Spencer, Freida Frisaro and Mike Schneider. SENT: 872 words with AP Photos.

MARS LANDER

CAPE CANAVERAL _ NASA’s new Mars lander has placed a quake monitor on the planet’s dusty red surface. The milestone occurred less than a month after Mars InSight’s touchdown. InSight’s robotic arm removed the seismometer from the spacecraft deck and set it on the ground Wednesday to monitor Mars quakes. By Marcia Dunn. UPCOMING: 600 words with AP Photos.

IN BRIEF:

MIAMI-PIGS PARDONED _ In a nod to the annual tradition of the U.S. president pardoning two turkeys ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, a pair of pigs has been spared from roasting for Christmas Eve feasts in Miami.

AIRPLANE DOWN-FLORIDA _ The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies are responding to a report of a down aircraft off St. John’s River Inlet on Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

SEVERE WEATHER-FLORIDA _ Authorities in Florida say 20 mobile homes have been damaged by a possible tornado touchdown as nasty weather sweeps through Central Florida.

BACK SEAT ROBBER _ A man crept into the back seat of an SUV while the driver was returning a shopping cart in a Walmart parking lot and police say he robbed the driver when he re-entered the vehicle.

TEENS KILLED-FATHER ARRESTED _ The mother of the 18-year-old woman who was shot and killed in Virginia along with her cousin says the teens had fled the shooting suspect’s Florida home about a week before.

UNIVERSAL-HALLOWEEN HORROR _ People complain about Christmas starting in early November. But in Orlando, Florida, Halloween is going to start just after Labor Day next year.

FATAL OVERDOSE _ Two Florida men have been sentenced to federal prison for their parts in a woman’s fatal overdose.

IN SPORTS:

FBN--GASPARILLA BOWL

TAMPA _ Marshall tries to remain unbeaten in bowl games under coach Doc Holliday when the Thundering Herd face South Florida in the Gasparilla Bowl. USF opened the season 7-0, but lost five straight down the stretch and is a slight underdog even though the game is being played in their home stadium. By Mark Didtler. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m. ET.

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If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to miami@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support atapcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

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The AP, Miami

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